Staff Reporters
Apr 17, 2023

Creative Minds: The first bencher Dentsu creative with a last bencher vibe for life

Dentsu India's Hazel Dalby reminisces her first "creativegasm", getting inked for all the wrong reasons at 18 and the one time she went deep sea diving without any swimming skills. 

Creative Minds: The first bencher Dentsu creative with a last bencher vibe for life
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Hazel Dalby

Origin: India

Places where you've lived and worked: India

Pronouns: She/her


  • Associate creative director of copy, Dentsu Creative, Mumbai, 2021 - present
  • Group head copy, Grey Group, Mumbai, 2020-2021
  • Copy supervisor, Grey Group, Mumbai, 2018-2020
  • Senior copywriter, TBWA, Mumbai, 2018
  • Senior copywriter, PinxitBlue, Mumbai, 2016-2017
  • Copywriter, PinxitBlue, Mumbai, 2015
  • Copywriter, RK Swamy BBDO, Mumbai, 2014

1. How did you end up being a creative?

You never forget your first creativegasm. A random advertising internship opportunity came through, and it was the only internship I ever needed. So my day 0 at Ogilvy Mumbai was spent cluelessly.

I was a kid in a toy store, mesmerised by the creativity on display. Finally, I had a front-row seat to watch legends in their element. Day 1 motivated me, hopping from desk to desk, discovering where I fit in this massive orb. But day two had God's plan in action. It showed me I deserved a place in this industry and that I could be what they call creative. A brief laid on a senior copywriter's desk, beckoning my interest. Vodafone Net Cruise wanted to do a print ad series, and with no second thoughts, I blurted out the visual idea and copy.

The rest is history, and this became my first ever creative work:

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

The one where we got iQOO, a leading smartphone brand to ridicule its name 

3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

In the world of Nike's 'Dream Crazier' and Burger King's 'Burn the ad', Old Spice's most extended commercial in history is underrated for the imagination and guts it took to create this ad and make it work.

4. Who are your key creative influences?

The youngest copywriters in my team are my most significant creative influences. Sounds baffling at first, but stay with me. I have a good reason.

Their unabashed enthusiasm to attempt a new challenging brief, their confidence to pitch something crazy and not done before, and their desire to become legendary in this industry inspires me daily. I guess that's what keeps my creative juices flowing.

5. What kind of student were you?

First bencher around exams season with a last bencher vibe for life.

6. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

I went deep sea diving without diving or swimming skillsyep, that's the definition of crazy. Also, does laughing out loud while catching someone cheating in an exam count?

7. Who's on your dream dinner guest list (alive or dead)?

Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, and Anne Hathaway feasting at my dining table while discussing the script I wrote for their next movie.

8. What career did you think you'd have when you were a kid?

Believe it or not, a fashion mogul, aka a model.

9. Do you have any secret or odd talents?

I can crack any bone in my body and find content in everything.

10. Tell us about an artist (any medium) that we've never probably heard of

Collin Francisis a budding indie singer from Pune who knows how to get you drifting in the wind with his voice.

11. Tell us about your tattoo(s)

Netflix isn't a joke, my tattoo is. My then bffs (now not even friends) had an incomplete peace symbol. So at 18, I decided to join in and live my emo era to its full potential.

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